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Photo Review Celebrity Refection May 16th, 2019 Scotland, Ireland & Iceland

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Hi there, I"m back with  photo review of our Refection Ireland, Scotland & Iceland cruise.   If you've followed any of my past reviews, you'll know that it's going to to be long & photo heavy... & it might take me a bit to finish it...  ok, now that we've got the caveat emptor out of the way, let's get going!  

 

A little introduction, we are Steve & Debbie from the Los Angeles area,  we're in our 50's, & love to travel, & really love Celebrity...  

 

We booked this cruise while on our last cruise to New Zealand & Australia,  they were running nice promotion at the time that included extra OBC & all 4 perks...  we booked into aqua class, however as we got closer to our sail date, prices dropped & I was able to upgrade us to our first Sky Suite!  All I can say is if you ever have the opportunity to travel in suite class on Celebrity, jump on it :)   It was just wonderful!

 

Day 1

Even though our cruise wasn't leaving until May 16th, we flew out at the beginning of May so we could do some pre cruise land travel through Scotland, & few extra days in Dublin.   Our daughter was kind enough to drop us off at LAX...  the culmination of 18 months of obsessive planning & research were finally coming to fruition, & boy were we excited!

 

Here we are at the airport ( & yes, Im totally wearing birds with socks)IMG_3686.thumb.JPG.bc913b0fec98b1415306b9a7126900a5.JPG

 

We spent a little time in a lounge drinking wine (don't judge me lol)  & then it was time to board our flight 

We booked on Air New Zealand to LHR as we really like their premium economy product & booked our two favorite seats as usual,  Here's Steve settling in for the long flight

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Ten & a half hours or so later & many glasses of wine  (again, don't judge :)   & welcome to London 

& Day 2

 

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We hit up another lounge for a couple of hours, & then boarded our British Air flight to Edinburgh:

 

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A shortish cab ride later, & we arrived at our hotel,   The Hilton Carlton, in Edinburgh.   The room wasn't ready yet, & we're big believers in hitting the ground running, so we dropped off our luggage, washed up a bit in the lobby restroom, & headed out to explore Edinburgh 

 

 

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Thank you so much for doing this review with pictures.  Totally on my long bucket list.  

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Day 2, continued

 

We just wandered out & about a bit aimlessly,  our hotel was situated right next to & overlooking High Street, so it was very convenient,  our only goal was to stay awake,  eat some dinner, & then have nice long showers & collapse into bed early as we both had big days planned for day 3,  Steve was meeting with a private guide for a day spey style fly fishing, & I was planning on renting a bicycle & riding to Roslyn Chapel...   however, my plans completely changed as I instantly fell in love with Edinburgh & decided I needed to spend as much time as possible there.  I caught glimpses of places I knew I'd want to return to the next day (Cemeteries!  Pubs! Churches!  None of which are exactly Steve's cup of tea, but he too was smitten.

We found a decent restaurant to eat in & discovered my new favorite beer of the moment:

 

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We headed back to our now ready room,  they had given us a lovely upgrade to a corner room with views of High Street  (I actually took these room photos the next week when we returned to the hotel, they gave us the same room)

 

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We had a few drinks in the executive lounge, took a glass of wine to the room ;)   showered, laid out the next days clothes, & were out like lights...  a little note, glad we both had eye masks as it was still daylight at 10 at night!

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Day 3

We were up & at-um early,  I was eating breakfast by 6:30 (a wonderful full breakfast was included w/our room,  I can't recommend this hotel enough)  Steve was long gone on his fishing expedition.  I got my gear together for the day, headed out, & then immediately returned to completely change what I was wearing, because baby it was cold outside (at least for this LA girl)  Layers are your friend in Scotland.

 

A little about Steve's day.   He had gone fly fishing in New Zealand & loved it (catch & release, with a no barb hook)  Well in Scotland they do a version of fly fishing called Spey fishing & it's a little more complicated, so he actually go lessons before our trip.  The guide included some photos, & here are a few....  he didn't actually catch anything, but honestly the beauty of standing in a river in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, well, sounds amazing right?

 

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Can't wait to read more.

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looking on with interest....loving it so far

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

my new favorite beer of the moment:

 

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Try their other offerings if you see them too. Scotland is better known for Scotch rather than its beer but Innis & Gunn make some great beers. The original version pictured was originally brewed to be thrown away after being used to season whisky barrels! Then someone actually tried drinking it before chucking it all away. True story!.... lol



Love the fishing pics. Sometimes it's about where you are, catching is just a bonus. And yeah, spey casting isn't easy without a lot of practise and good tuition. :) 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mynki

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Looking forward to your review.  Been to Edinburgh several times and just loved it!

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ok, I've been informed that I left out the most important of the fishing images, the "cast"

 

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Day 3, continued

 

Having happily abandoned my bike riding to Roslyn plans, & more appropriately dressed, I set out to explore Edinburgh, with no set plan , if you knew me, you'd understand that this is a big deal.  My opinion of surprises is on par with Mr. Knightley's :)    I basically got out & just walked.   

 

A little aside here:   in my research for this trip I had decided to purchase a joint membership to Historic Scotland https://members.historic-scotland.gov.uk   for us.  Definitely a good decision, it included entrance & parking to almost all the sites we visited in Scotland. 

 

One of my first stops was the beautiful St. Giles Cathedral, where I paid the photo fee ( & got a cool sticker)  

 

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As far as I'm concerned the most amazing thing about the Cathedral is that dogs are allowed in :) however, if you want a little more info on St. Giles, here you go:  https://stgilescathedral.org.uk

 

 

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Love the pictures, very enjoyable review.

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Posted (edited)

Following and remembering.  This review is making me miss Edinburgh.   We had a second visit to Edinburgh in May of 2018.  Basically took the same cruise, as you! 

 

Should we have the good fortune to return, could you tell me what type of room you originally booked at the Hilton?  When we were last there, we booked an Air B&B.  It was a lovely one bedroom in a Georgian graystone near Stockbridge.  What a neat little town (hope you were able to visit there on your trip.)   We will try to book the apartment again should we return.  But if it is not available, the Hilton looks nice.

 

Keep the memories coming!

 

PS - It appears that dogs are allowed everywhere in Scotland.  We were surprised to have dogs sitting below our dinner table in Stockbridge on our first night.  Bars and restaurants.  Loved it!

Edited by Iamthesea

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We were on the May 6 cruise, and flew to Edinburgh after the cruise.  We had never been there before, and we really enjoyed it, and are planning to go back one day.  We discovered that from Los Angeles, you can fly non-stop into Manchester, and then on to Edinburgh.  

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Looking forward to the rest of your installments. We leave for Iceland and Ireland in August and can't wait to see the rest of your pictures!

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We will be taking an Ireland/Iceland cruise on the Reflection next June.  Looking forward to your continuing review!

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Posted (edited)
On 6/22/2019 at 7:01 PM, Iamthesea said:

Following and remembering.  This review is making me miss Edinburgh.   We had a second visit to Edinburgh in May of 2018.  Basically took the same cruise, as you! 

 

Should we have the good fortune to return, could you tell me what type of room you originally booked at the Hilton?  When we were last there, we booked an Air B&B.  It was a lovely one bedroom in a Georgian graystone near Stockbridge.  What a neat little town (hope you were able to visit there on your trip.)   We will try to book the apartment again should we return.  But if it is not available, the Hilton looks nice.

 

Keep the memories coming!

 

PS - It appears that dogs are allowed everywhere in Scotland.  We were surprised to have dogs sitting below our dinner table in Stockbridge on our first night.  Bars and restaurants.  Loved it!

 

Hi there, I originally booked a king deluxe room,  the room they upgraded us to was a king executive corner view room...   it was lovely!    One caveat however, is that to get to it you go down about 4 or 5 stairs, & then there are also some stairs in the room to an upper landing area.   

 

PS:  I"ll be working on the review a  it more tomorrow, but we have company coming in tomorrow,  so it may be slow coming.  

Edited by cruise kitty

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Posted (edited)

Day 3 continued,

 

After St. Giles I just wandered up High St. & then up around a few side streets, I visited two really beautiful libraries, & around that time I realized that my camera was really giving me problems...  I'm currently shopping around for a new one :(   so sorry, no really good shots of those libraries.  

I briefly stopped at the little coffee shop where J.K Rowling is said to have written much of her Harry Potter series (I'm a big fan, used to wait in line with the kids at midnight for the books to come out :) )   I was headed for the Greyfriars Cemetery https://greyfriarskirk.com/visit-us/kirkyard/  on the way I stopped at the little monument to Bobby, the faithful terrier who guarded his master's grave for some 13 years.

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One interesting aspect of the cemetery (among many)  is the remains of The Flodden Wall, which once guarded Edinburgh from the threat of English invasion 

 

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https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-flodden-wall-edinburgh-scotland

 

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Being a Harry Potter fan, of course I had to get a snap of Tom Riddle's grave:

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Edited by cruise kitty

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It's a great review.  Can't wait to read more!

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Wow, sorry guys!  Life seriously got in the way,  (in a really good way, our kids & grandkids moved back to L.A. after a stint of living in Washington :)

 

Going to try & continue & hopefully finish up in a little less detailed manner as I've got way less free time nowadays.  

 

I did a lot  of walking that day,  it drizzled on & off, if there was a true downpour, I'd pop into a pub for a glass (it's much smaller than a pint)  of beer or cider :)  I walked to Carlton Hill & also visited another really atmospheric graveyard with a tribute to U.S. President Lincoln IMG_3842.thumb.JPG.23f56acfa4013d39d93668bd72d748d5.JPG

 

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Steve came back from fishing & we walked over to a small pub for dinner...  headed back to our room to try & get an early sleep...  difficult to do when it's 10 in the evening & still day time!

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